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How to deal with stereotypes and vicious people

Posted

Hello all,

I am a 19 yo male student in a pre-licensure program completing the last of my pre-reqs. The way it works at my school is that after you complete the pre reqs you get your student nurse title and start clinicals the following year. So many of my classmates have not been succesful, and I am just one test from getting my letter in the mail after taking a summer class. I guess I just need some motivation and input on this situation. I went to dinner with a female friend who I go to school with tonight who I just happen to like. I have been after this goal of getting into nursing school after my grandma died in my sophomore year of high school and my academic record was atrocious. A long story made short I have been working feverishly to prove myself to have the motivation brains and smarts to accomplish this goal that I have had for four years now. At dinner tonight her dad asked me why does a guy like you want to go into nursing in my day only **** and weirdos go into nursing. I don't understand why so many people feel a need to put us down for our goal which I am not afraid to bleed sweat and even cry for this goal. I am having no doubts of my decision to become a nurse, cause it is my dream my passion and something that I am going to make happen. I guess I just need some kind words of motivation to help me get through this week. I am over 1,000 miles from home and communication of such hatred to my parents is so difficult to my parents who are completely supportive of this goal. How have you guys dealt with the laughter behind your back, and other mean jokes?

** Please once again kind and appropriate responses are much welcomed, and its hard to put yourself out there like this to strangers, please please please.. if you have nothing nice to say refrain from commenting on this thread.

Also, I do not have an inbox yet, thank you in advance!

You can't fix stupid. What her dad said to you was not nice, but trying to argue with him, I'm afraid, would have been futile.

As a male in a predominantly female profession, you are going to get all sorts of comments about being a nurse. Even females still get the stereotypical comments--after all, we only went into nursing to marry a doctor 😏.

You have several options. Either ignore the comments or have a witty comeback.

Keep your eye on the prize. Work hard in school and get your degree. Don't judge your classmate by her father's comments. You've worked too hard to let one comment upset you. Good luck to you!

mrsboots87

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 6 years experience.

Haters gonna hate. He sound like the same type of guy who is probably a pervy patient or just doesn't know all that being a nurse entails. You have just as much a right to have a passion for nursing as us females do. You keep on doing you and working hard. The people in your life who are worth caring about will be supportive of your goal. The winds are changing and more men are entering nursing. I see a handful of male nurses at each clinical and when I volunteered in an ER saw almost 50% males. You won't be such an "oddity" for too much longer.

Keep going for you dreams. Keep God first and he'll get you there😊😊😊

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

You need to do some research so as to be able to provide a CALM response that reflects that 'the times, they are a changin' for men in nursing'.

There are statistics out there reflecting that the number of men in nursing now represents a significant increasing presence. They freq achieve higher educational degrees and administrative career opportunities more than their female peers. And they do it sooner.

I also believe that they are compensated better as well. I attribute this to education & experience, assertiveness and negotiation skills.

At about 10 years post-high school, I would postulate that a male RN (I sooo hate that term!) is prob well on his way to a stable well-paid career position that is likely more satisfying than the multi-stressful bedside nurse position. And better off than his high school peers

With a well-prepared, verifiable response that is CALMLY explained to the nay-sayers, your comments may well 'stop them in their tracks'. They are mis-informed and behind the times; you know that! You're already ahead of them. Just be COOL with your knowledgeable statistics in your response and just ignore the low-shots.

jojo489

Has 3 years experience.

I would absolutely love to see more men in this field. Selfishly, because I seem to get along with men better in general.

We had one guy in my nursing program...it was his second career and he was in his 50's. All of us girls were extremely helpful and supportive of him. He and I ended up working in the same place by chance, and even the staff and supervisors there were very willing to help and supported him. He had very few problems with patients (we worked LTC) and did very well for himself.

You might be surprised how many more people are welcoming to men in this field than those who hold ignorant opinions.

Do what you're passionate about...and as hard as it is, don't worry what people say. You are the one who looks at yourself in the mirror every day, not anyone else. You're responsible for your own happiness. Go for it. :)

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

LOL - I feel the need to apologize for all the old f**ts who are stuck in their 'glory days'. They are too deluded to realize that the world has moved on and left them behind. You don't owe anyone an explanation of your career choice - unless of course, they are going to provide you with some funding.

windsurfer8, BSN

Specializes in Psych/Military Nursing. Has 14 years experience.

So one person says something you that you don't like and you say "I don't know why so many people feel a need to put us down". You need to study REALLY hard in your pre reqs and in nursing school and learn how to analyze in a way that doesn't stereotype. You have an example of one person and that becomes "so many". Also why do you need to be in constant communication with your parents? If you can't handle being on your own move home to your parents. If "so many" people tell you only weirdos are nurses then "so many" people will when you go home to mommys house.

You want "kind" and "appropriate" responses. Once again..totally subjective. What is "appropriate" to you may not be to someone else. Study HARD in your research class (if you are going for a BSN). What if a "kind" response is not the most effective or appropriate response? Why do you seek validation for feeling sorry for yourself?

Developing effective coping skills is vital for life. When things don't go the way you like you need to be able to adapt and carry on. I GUARANTEE you will have other nurses and doctors at times be rude or short with you. It happens...people are tired and stressed in hospitals. Are you just going to quit when that happens?

Just because someone says something you don't like it isn't "hatred" as you state. He may be just stating things how he views it. He may be wrong, but it is what he thinks. It doesn't make it reality.

Good luck man.

nurse2033, MSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU.

This must be a young man's problem because no one has ever made a statement like that to me. You could have said A. times have changed, B. I'm not gay so I guess that doesn't apply, or C. Sorry you missed such a great opportunity. When people asks me about nursing I say I love serving my community, helping people when they are down, and saving a life is a hoot! You need to be 100% non apologetic. Take every opportunity to tell people with confidence, "I'm a nurse!". Don't explain or elaborate. And, don't confuse caring for people with manly endeavors, they are just different sides of you. For example, fathers provide caring for their kids, just with a different flavor from Mom. It is not better or worse. Good luck!

Mavrick, BSN, RN

Specializes in 15 years in ICU, 22 years in PACU. Has 30 years experience.

It's clear to me Dinosaur Dad has no interest in learning anything from you or any other man in nursing. So a quote of statistics or logic will be ignored or completely misinterpreted. You have encountered a bigot on his home turf. Back away slowly and latch the gate on your way out.

Dad's intent was to say something awkward and humiliate you in front of your friend. I doubt Dad would "get" a witty response and to escalate the hostility is defeating to the friendship. If your friend offered an apology for her Dad, graciously accept it, and move forward to your goal. As said, "Keep your eye on the prize". You don't need to explain why nursing is such a great career choice. Though here is a link to why many nurses find satisfaction in their career. https://allnurses.com/general-nursing-discussion/nurse-retention-978648-page2.html#post8396508

Now to add my comments on the more disturbing part of your post. " Please once again kind and appropriate responses are much welcomed, and its hard to put yourself out there like this to strangers, please please please.. if you have nothing nice to say refrain from commenting on this thread."

This is NOT a private therapy session for emotional counseling. Though I don't think you have to attest that you are over the age of 21 to enter here, it is implied that you are an adult and capable of conducting intelligent discourse on a public forum.

windsurfer has some great comments: "You want "kind" and "appropriate" responses. Once again..totally subjective. What is "appropriate" to you may not be to someone else. ...... What if a "kind" response is not the most effective or appropriate response? Why do you seek validation for feeling sorry for yourself?

Developing effective coping skills is vital for life. When things don't go the way you like you need to be able to adapt and carry on. I GUARANTEE you will have other nurses and doctors at times be rude or short with you. It happens...people are tired and stressed in hospitals. Are you just going to quit when that happens?"

You must prepare for a career where you are a minority in a non-traditional role. Times are changing, from near 3% men when I started nursing to closer to 10% now. Thirty years from now, who knows?

I would just laugh, chances are you will make $$$ then him within your first few years of graduation.

In my life I have had ONE girl knock on me for being a nurse (drunk girl in a bar) and I had a pretty quick retort that shut her down fast. Other than that I have had nothing but support.

Dinosaur Dad

Well said, explains precisely why he asked you about going into nursing. He's living the life of Fred Flintstone. I'm actually curious to know if he even knows what a computer is, you should ask him next time you talk to him.

Individuals like this exist all over, especially in the geriatrics population. A friend of mine, her grandfather who is 90 y.o, thought that nurses don't do anything except bring you water when you ask for it and wipe peoples rear end all day. When he told me

"oh you're a nurse, so you just clean up poop and bring people water for a living?" I just chuckled and said, "precisely" :)

Edited by MKIVSupraRN

Don't let it bug you. As a male entering my senior year of a nursing BSN, and 57 years old to boot, I have received encouragement from complete strangers a hundred times for each negative comment. Actually, I can think of only 1 or 2 negative comments at all. The patients, employers, my wife, and practicing nurses have been universally supportive. Who you are is defined by what you do; male, female, gay, straight, young, or old do not matter in the least. Just put on your game face and go for it.

futurenaijaRN, BSN, RN

Has 1 years experience.

Hey from your post, you sound like a great guy. Don't let the negative comments get in your head. Everything will be alright the moment you get that RN title in your name, and your patients just wants you to be their nurse because of how great you are. Keep doing your thing, God bless you.

Ignore the ignorant man. Keep your eye on the prize, and do not let what anyone thinks about you dictate the way you feel about yourself. You want to be a nurse…go be one, and anyone who doesn't get it, well, that's their problem.

It can be surprising and hurtful when people say stuff like that, but you have to realize it says more about him than it does about you.

Same goes for people who offer the "grow a thicker skin" attitude when you clearly are asking for support. I know it would be preferable to have the girlfriend's father be supportive, but what I think this says is he is lacking in the ability to do that. People who take that stance are generally still sore from whatever boot in the butt elevated them into adulthood (in their way of thinking that's how it works).

I am always glad to see guys entering the profession. Individuals all have something different to offer; if we were to exclude males, we'd be missing out on many great nurses. The drive you show to do what you need to do academically is great. I am also a student. I can't tell you how many people I see limping along, doing what they need to do to pass but not much more. As technical as this profession is, we need people male and female who are interested in doing their best work for the benefit of patients.

You are smart to seek out positive people who can support your interest in this. Age does make ignoring the rest easier. The "skin will grow thicker" (as in not caring what people think).

fawnmarie, ASN

Specializes in Psychiatric Nursing. Has 19 years experience.

At my facility, we have more male nurses than female nurses! Maybe it is this geographical region, but I might venture to say that I personally know more male than female nurses! We currently have a group of 6 LPN students rotating through our unit and 3 of them are males. "Dinosaur Dad" needs to realize that this is 2015! Keep up the good work, keep your eye on the prize, and don't give this guy's opinion a second thought!

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

I'm not a guy, so can't speak to how I've dealt with comments like those. If you wanted to respond, I'd keep it short and light (you wouldn't have wanted your friend to be uncomfortable, right?) Maybe something like, "in my day, straight and bland guys go into nursing too" (to contrast with his "**** & weirdos" comment.) Or "hey, this guy will have job security!" Say it with a smile--you'll project confidence, and at the same time seem friendly, not merely argumentative. Then change the subject.

In my experience, critical care and emergency areas are less female dominated. At least 1/3, possibly closer to 1/2 of my current colleagues have Y chromosomes. ;) But if you want to work in oncology or NICU or hospice, that's great too! Men get cancer, critically ill newborns have dads. Your presence might be just what they need. More women than ever are entering professions that are historically male dominated. Just like they can be confident in their decision, you can be in yours.

Now about that thicker skin that previous posters have said you need. This is a sincere suggestion--not an effort to tear you down. This profession will eat you alive if you allow yourself to be hurt so easily. You will deal with stressed out pts and families, you will see things that are heartbreaking, you will meet the jerks that every profession has. You can't let adversity have so much power over you. Keep your head up, and push forward! :yes: